Earlier this year, I wrote about why you should join and participate in advocacy programs on the ReadyTalk blog. If you’re not familiar, advocacy programs help companies form a tighter connection with their best customers and partners, and are continuing to grow in popularity. There are certainly some challenges that marketers face when establishing and growing their advocacy programs that are similar to starting and building a successful business. Marketers must find ways to motivate their customers and partners to join their advocacy programs, and, maybe even more importantly, ensure that those same customers and partners stay engaged. I’m a part of a few advocacy programs through Marketo (as a partner), Cloud Elements (as a customer), and ReadyTalk’s own Summit Club (as an employee), and am pretty active in each of them. But what keeps me coming back, even with a fairly packed schedule? A few thoughts:
Make it fun! Well, for the most part…. there needs to be something in it for your brand, and for your advocates. Try to create a good balance of light, less time-consuming challenges… like, sharing an inspirational TED talk that helps me give better presentations or an interesting article that’s related to my industry. But also ask your advocates for help as well… whether it’s about a reference for a potential prospect, or a blog post from one of your employees to help spread the word about your company. I know I love to see those “big ticket” items and watch the points climb!
As I mentioned above, I have a pretty busy schedule... we all do! Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little break in the day, but still feel productive. But… I need a reminder sometimes. Give me a little push once or twice a week to go check out a challenge that you think I might like, based on others I’ve participated in before.
Help your customers, partners, and prospects connect to each other. Encourage discussion amongst the group… whether it’s around the unique ways you’re using the company’s product, or what you thought about the latest Silicon Valley episode. I’ve also done a few reference calls lately and have actually loved connecting with others in my space, inadvertently finding a couple of potential customers for ReadyTalk as well.
Finally, and, hopefully, this goes without saying… make sure I’m still a happy customer and partner! Check in with me every once in awhile outside of the advocacy program, even if my activity is still consistent. I still want to feel the love and care from my account manager, and drive success for both of our companies. Happy advocating!
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